Understand and measure the impact of COVID-19 on the telecom industry!

Virus impact over each market - telecom operators, government agencies and regulators' responses - revised forecasts for the next 5 years.

See updated country reports

2017 Global Mobile Communications and Mobile Broadband - Analyses and Statistics

Report Cover Image

Last updated: 4 Apr 2017 Update History

Report Status: Archived

Report Pages: 147

Lead Analyst: Kylie Wansink

Contributing Analysts: Phil Harpur, Paul Budde, Henry Lancaster

Publication Overview

The global mobile industry is an increasingly important sector which today plays a huge part in the economic and social progress of most countries. Key trends in 2017 includes the increasing penetration of smart phones in emerging countries; infrastructure improvements and upgrades throughout the world; and looking towards the future – 5G technology. This report provides valuable information, analyses and statistics on the global mobile industry including mobile broadband. Also provided are unique regional mobile industry overviews for Africa; Asia Pacific; Latin America; North America; Europe; Asia and the Middle East.

Subjects include:

  • Global mobile communications market – key statistics and trends;
  • Global mobile broadband market – key statistics and trends;
  • Global mobile devices market – smartphones, tablets, phablets and wearables;
  • Global mobile messaging market – traditional and OTT services;
  • Global mobile infrastructure – LTE, LTE-A, VoLTE and 5G;
  • Global M2M and IoT market – key statistics and trends;
  • Regional overviews for Africa; Asia Pacific; Latin America; North America; Europe; Asia and the Middle East.

Researchers:- Kylie Wansink, Paul Budde, Phil Harpur, Henry Lancaster
Current publication date:- April 2017 (16th Edition)

Executive Summary

Mobile infrastructure will ultimately rely on fibre broadband

In 2017 mobile broadband subscriptions are growing rapidly and LTE infrastructure now carries over 65% of all global mobile traffic. While mobile and fixed will always exist in parallel, there is no doubt that with a faltering fixed network and an excellent mobile network, mobile will give fixed a run for its money.

With competitively priced services, innovative smartphones and an increasing range of apps; mobile broadband traffic will continue to escalate. While the capacity of the mobile network has been greatly improved by LTE in many parts of the world, along with increasing spectrum allocation, the physics of mobile technology is such that it will be impossible to handle all the traffic from mobile devices over the mobile network. An increasing proportion will have to be offloaded onto fixed networks and thus, developments in LTE will actually stimulate the need for fibre broadband.

Ultimately, most mobile stations will have to be connected to a fibre optic network in order to cope with the volume of traffic. 5G will create an even denser mobile tower infrastructure than the one that is already in place, with mobile stations starting to appear on many city buildings and many street corners (often connected to private city fibre networks). In the end, the mobile network will be a fibre network with a fairly short wireless access signal to the end-users.

Key developments:

  • The mobile industry alone contributes over 4% to the global GDP;
  • Mobile services revenue growth is expected to slow through to 2020;
  • Data mining will be the next driver of mobile revenue;
  • Mobile operators need to rethink their business models;
  • For new ideas, the industry should look towards the OTT players;
  • 5G will be the next development in mobile technology;
  • The allocation of mobile spectrum is an issue around the world;
  • Macau is the leading country in Asia in terms of overall mobile penetration with a penetration;
  • There are vast differences in the telecoms sectors across the collection of islands which make up the South Pacific region;
  • There are a number of countries across the Middle East offering progressive and increasingly competitive mobile markets;
  • The North American region, combining a large subscriber base in the US market with one a tenth the size in Canada, benefits from having a number of network operators which have been at the very fore of technological developments;
  • Although Latin American and the Caribbean cover a wide range of countries, the mobile sector within the region is broadly similar in terms of penetration of services and market maturity;
  • The proportion of 2G subscribers across Europe is falling sharply, and while there remains steady, if slow, growth in the 3G sector this will also continue to fall further into 2017 and 2018 as subscribers shift to LTE networks;
  • Mobile telephony is by far the dominant telecom platform across Africa, accounting for more than 90% of all telephone lines in the region. As a consequence, mobile internet also accounts for a similar proportion of all internet connections.

Related Reports

Share this Report

Purchase with Confidence

In 2009 Paul contacted me and we engaged in the brainstorming sessions that led to the development of the UN Broadband Commission for Digital Development.

Paul is a visionary with a keen strategic approach. He is a powerful communicator, provides succinct analyses and has a complete knowledge of all the key information and communications technologies relating to broadband.

Dr Hamadoun Touré, Secretary General International Telecommunications Union (ITU) 2006-2014

Research Methodology

BuddeComm's strategic business reports contain a combination of both primary and secondary research statistics, analyses written by our senior analysts supported by a network of experts, industry contacts and researchers from around the world as well as our own scenario forecasts.

For more details, please see:


Research Methodology

Sample Reports

A selection of downloadable samples from our Annual Publications catalogue.


Download a Sample Report

More than 4,000 customers from 140 countries utilise BuddeComm Research

Are you interested in BuddeComm's Custom Research Service?

News & Views

Have the latest telecommunications industry news delivered to your inbox by subscribing to Paul's FREE weekly News & Views.